Sreevalsan Menon, a PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering, came in 1st place at the Missouri S&T Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Finale Competition on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. This is the sixth time Missouri S&T has hosted a competition. This year’s event was virtual to ensure social distancing protocols with the pandemic.
During the 3MT® competition graduate student contestants have only three minutes and a single PowerPoint slide to discuss their research and explain the importance to a non-specialist audience and judging panel. Contestants are judged on comprehension, content, communication, and engagement. Out of many talented contestants, Menon impressed the judges with his intriguing research presentation titled “Identification of Brain Neuromarkers in Health and Disease.” His concise and effective representation of his research plus his engaging presentation allowed him to take home the 1st place position. Menon also was voted as this year’s People’s Choice Award Recipient by audience members.
The Runner-Up for the competition was Venkatesh Krishnamoorthy, MS in Systems Engineering, who presented on “Multi-Hop Question Answering”.
Judges for this year’s 3MT® competition included Rolla community members Judge Mark Calvert, Lister Florence, Ryan Buschjost, Layla Earl, and John Butz. Additional community and campus members were involved in preliminary judging rounds. Missouri S&T asks people from around the community to volunteer as judges to showcase some of the excellent work graduate students at Missouri S&T are accomplishing.
Menon will move on to represent Missouri S&T at the regional 3MT® competition being held virtually March 24-26 at the annual meeting of the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS). Graduate students from across the region will present their research and compete for a spot at a national competition. The 3MT® competition originated with the University of Queensland, New Zealand and is now held annually at over 900 universities worldwide.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a competition for graduate students to develop and showcase their research communication skills. Developed by The University of Queensland (AU) in 2008, 3MT® will be held for the sixth time at Missouri S&T in February!
3MT® challenges students to present a compelling oration on their dissertation and its significance in just three minutes, in language appropriate for an educated, non-specialist audience. Participating in 3MT® helps students enhance their resume/CV, their networking skills, and their public speaking skills. Winners and finalists have gone on to compete regionally and acheived great success in their fields!
Learn more about 3MT® and how to prepare your research for presentation by attending ONE of these mandatory orientation sessions (required for 3MT participation):
Learn about the details of 3MT, what is required to participate, and how we can help. Also, learn how to organize your work so that it can help you at 3MT plus to network, present at conferences, and sell your ideas.
The public is invited to attend the Finale.
Active graduate students at Missouri S&T are eligible to compete. Those who have successfully defended and those who have graduated are not eligible.
You MUST be available for the final round (Wednesday, February 24th @ 5pm).
*Missouri S&T’s 3MT® competition is open to domestic and international graduate students. The presentation must be made in English.
Official 3MT® Rules*
Preliminary Rounds (Wednesday, February 17)
Semi-Final Round (Thursday, February 18)
Final Round (Wednesday, February 24)
Official 3MT® Judging Criteria
Two criterion are used at every level of the competition. Please be aware that each of these criterion are equally weighted.
Criterion 1: Comprehension & Content
Criterion 2: Engagement & Communication
Who can be a Judge?
To provide each student with a similar experience, we have selected judges from community and campus leaders including business owners, local elected officials, campus administrators, and more. The judges varying in age, gender, profession and discipline.
Missouri S&T 3MT® Prizes
First Place will receive a plaque and will become eligible to represent Missouri S&T at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools (MAGS) annual conference in March 2021. Travel expenses will be paid for by the University (Note: MAGS '21 will be virtual). If selected as a finalist at MAGS, travel expenses will be paid for by the University to national level competition at the Council of Graduate Schools in December '21.
Runner-up will receive a plaque.
People's Choice will receive a plaque.
How to Enter the Missouri S&T 3MT® Competition
What does it take to win 3MT®?
First, understand that the Missouri S&T 3MT® presentation will be scored by the judges on two criterion, comprehension/content, and engagement/communication.
Strategy: Explain the judging criterion to your family and friends when you practice. Ask them to rate your presentation.
Second, in a 3MT® competition, what you say matters, but how you deliver your message will be the key to winning.
Strategy: Critique presentations designed for public viewing. Some winning 3MT® presentations can be found here. What successful characteristics stand out to you about these presentations?
How did the speaker make the research both meaningful and memorable for the audience?
3MT® Orientation and Prepping your Research Workshop:
Practice sessions time slots will be availble between February 1-5. Sign-up sheets for practice sessions will be sent out after attendance at the Orientation session.
To reserve a time before or after these times, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The public is invited to (virtually) attend the finale.
Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by The University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia. The exercise challenges graduate student candidates to present a compelling oration on their thesis (dissertation) topic and its significance in just three minutes.
3MT® develops academic, presentation, and research communication skills and supports the development of research students' capacity to effectively explain their research in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience.
The first 3MT® was held at UQ in 2008 with 160 RHD students competing. In 2009 and 2010 the 3MT® competition was promoted to other Australian and New Zealand universities and enthusiasm for the concept grew. Due to its adoption in numerous universities, a multi-national event was developed, and the Inaugural Trans-Tasman 3MT® competition was held at UQ in 2010.
Since 2011 the popularity of the competition has increased and 3MT® competitions are now held in over 170 universities across more than 18 countries worldwide.
In November 2013, the first Universities 21 (U21) 3MT® competition was held with several universities from around the world competing in a virtual competition.
The Council of Graduate Schools is encouraging US institutions to host 3MT® competitions. Several SEC universities, including Missouri S&T, sponsor 3MT® events.